Gary Kirsten, South Africa
Gary Kirsten Getty Images

1990s was a tough time to play cricket. The sport’s landscape was changing as moolahs made their way. Sides were laden with world class cricketers and the sport was more glamorous with live coverage getting better. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram and co. were enthralling all with their art.

Former South African opener Gary Kirsten played majority of his international cricket in the 1990s. A mainstay for South Africa for years, Kirsten dominated world class bowlers with his grit. Playing international cricket from 1993 to 2004, Kirsten amassed 7,289 runs at over 45 in Tests. In ODIs, he averaged 41, having played 185 matches for South Africa.

Reminiscing about his playing days, Kirsten said Australian pace legend Glenn McGrath was the best bowler he faced, besides enjoying his stint with the star-studded Indian team during his time as head coach from 2007-11. “Glenn McGrath was the best bowler I ever faced and my favourite batsman was Brian Lara,” he was quoted as saying by IANS.

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“There were a lot of cricketers against whom I enjoyed playing and later working with like Sachin (Tendulkar), Rahul (Dravid), V.V.S. Laxman, Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh. All these are the legends of the game,” he concluded.

The southpaw became a coach later in life, guiding India to a World Cup win in 2011 and also No.1 rank in Test cricket. Kirsten is currently the assistant coach of the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).